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Learn About D.C.'s Less Famous, But Older, Obelisk

The Washington Monument is the beautiful, tall and pointy structure that symbolizes our city and our nation, but it's actually not the oldest obelisk in the city. That honor goes to the one on the northwest corner of the Wisconsin Bridge that commemorates the completion of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. The C&O Canal's monument was dedicated in 1850 and while that was two years after construction started on the Washington Monument, enormous structures take more time to build and The Washington Monument didn't open until 1885. The obelisk by the C&O Canal is often overlooked these days (as is the canal itself), but at the time of its inception, the 184.5 mile canal was one of the primary modes of transporting materials like coal and lumber into and out of the city. Photo by Wally Gobetz.
· Chesapeake & Ohio Canal [National Park Service]
· All Hidden Memorials [CDC]